By Alison D’ Arrigo
Twenty years ago, you graduated college or got married, and then got a job and in time your own place. For post-graduates today, the options are a little more flexible. Increasingly, parents are playing greater financial roles to make that transition a little easier. According to DAME Magazine, half of this year’s graduates have moved back home and 44 percent of last year’s graduates are still there, while 34 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds receive cash from their parents, an average of $3,410 a year.
With the high price of rent in New York City, and the feeling that moving into the city after graduating from Hofstra is the only acceptable move, many graduates feel the social and fiscal pressure of making the transition. But graduates are finding that with a little creativity and some sacrifice, there are options that are more successful long term.
When Mike Amodio graduated with a bachelor’s in finance in December of 2007, he found himself in the same situation as many December graduates. After hiring employees from the previous May class, many companies had filled entry level positions. He was finally hired by MetLife, but the job was located in New Jersey instead of Manhattan. Amodio finally made the decision to move back home to Staten Island with his parents.
“I chose to move back home for a few reasons,” Amodio said. “My commute to work was much shorter from Staten Island than Long Island. I needed to save money because I had to start paying back my school loans, and due to paying back school loans, I could not afford to live on my own.”
After living with friends for three years, off the parental radar, Amodio found himself in a strange transition. However, he quickly realized the perks of hot dinners, clean laundry, and most of all, no rent. Soon after, he invested in two properties in New Jersey. He’ll soon be transferring to MetLife in Manhattan and plans to move in with friends that are also working in what he calls “the real world.”
While it is most common for college graduates to find themselves moving back with mom and dad, some graduates have found that hitting the ground running is the best way to go. Gaby Astrauska found this out after interning in Los Angeles the summer of her junior year; she worked and saved up money the summer after graduating in 2005 and in June flew back to California to apartment hunt.
After packing the contents of her off-campus house and getting quotes from various moving companies, Gaby paid about $3,000 to move her life across country.
“It took about two weeks for everything to arrive. I had no job, just an empty apartment…getting adjusted to my new life was not easy,” she recalls.
But after a month Gaby landed a job at VH1, as an assistant, and after a year of hard work, long hours, and slim paychecks, she can now say that the move was one of the best things she’s ever done.
“I found myself homesick if I didn’t keep myself busy. I left all my friends and family…but in time it all comes together. I have been in L.A. for four years now and really do love it. I seem to make it back east four times a year and always have friends and family visiting me on the west coast. But New York will always be my home.”
With uncertain times ahead graduates are becoming more and more resourceful when it comes to shacking up. It just goes to show that with a little hard work, planning, and patience, life after college can be something to look forward to.
Average Prices to Rent a One-Bedroom Apartment per Month in New York City
As reported by Manhattan Rental Market Report as of September 2008
The Bronx: $1,100 – $1,500
SoHo: $3,126 – $4,981
Lower East Side: $2,489 – $3,277
Tribeca: $4,323 -$4,390
Financial District $3,041 – $3,429
Battery Park: $3,225
Harlem: $1,100 – $1,500
Brooklyn: $975 – 3,600
New Rochelle: $1,568 – $2,750
Staten Island: $1,045 – $1,200
Upper West Side: $2,497 – $3,505
Upper East Side: $2,347 – $3,626
Midtown: $2,329 – $3,435
Murray Hill: $2,717 – $3,483
Chelsea: $2,974 – $4,089
Gramercy Park: $2,820 – $3,778
East Village: $2,879 – $3,754
Greenwich Village: $3,154 – $3,963